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The Resource A partisan's daughter, by Louis de Bernières

A partisan's daughter, by Louis de Bernières

Label
A partisan's daughter
Title
A partisan's daughter
Statement of responsibility
by Louis de Bernières
Title variation
partisans daughter
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Tone
Award
Booklist Editors' Choice, 2008.
Review
  • /*Starred Review*/ Although Scheherazade may be the most famous damsel ever to delay her fate by spinning out nightly yarns of fantasy and intrigue, Roza, de Berniéres' captivating temptress, is equally gifted in the art of storytelling as she enchants Chris with tales of lust, love, and loss. Unhappily married (he calls his wife the Great White Loaf) and disarmingly naive, Chris mistakes Roza for a prostitute, and she is just delighted enough with the misconception, in a quirky sort of way, to encourage the charade. Instead of sex, however, Roza and Chris meet regularly just to talk. A Yugoslavian emigrant, Roza regales Chris with episodes from her past that are both preposterous and poignant, the truth seductively masked by her alluring combination of frailty and bravado. And like a soap-opera junkie living vicariously through characters in an alternate universe, Chris depends upon Roza's bizarre history to allow him to temporarily escape his own tedious and tiresome existence. A provocative and artful analyst of the human psyche, de Berniéres vividly celebrates the tantalizing strength of stories to transform individual lives through their eternal and universal appeal. -- Haggas, Carol (Reviewed 09-15-2008) (Booklist, vol 105, number 2, p26)
  • De Bernières (Corelli’s Mandolin ) delivers an oddball love story of two spiritually displaced would-be lovers. During a dreary late 1970s London winter, stolid and discontented Chris is drawn to seedy and mysterious Roza, a Yugoslav émigrée he initially believes is a prostitute. She isn’t (though she claims to have been), and soon the two embark on an awkward friendship (Chris would like to imagine it as a romance) in which Roza spins her life’s stories for her nondescript, erstwhile suitor. Roza, whose father supported Tito, moved to London for opportunity but instead found a school of hard knocks, and she’s all too happy to dole out the lessons she learned to the slavering Chris. The questions of whether Roza will fall for Chris and whether Chris will leave his wife (he calls her “the Great White Loaf”) carry the reader along, as the reliability of Chris and Roza, who trade off narration duties, is called into question—sometimes to less than ideal effect. The conclusion is crushing, and Chris’s scorching regret burns brightly to the last line. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed August 4, 2008) (Publishers Weekly, vol 255, issue 31, p43)
  • De Bernières, whose sweeping epics took us to Turkey in Birds Without Wings and to Greece in Corelli's Mandolin , turns closer to home with a melancholy tale of midlife crisis set in 1970s London with occasional glimpses of Yugoslavia. Chris is a 40-year-old unhappily married salesman who mistakes Roza for a streetwalker and in his loneliness makes a fumbling attempt to hire her. Instead, he gives her a lift home, and she invites him to return to her ramshackle flat for coffee. He does repeatedly as Roza slowly relates her intricate and allegedly sordid life story as the daughter of a fervent Tito loyalist. A complex and codependent relationship develops as Chris is alternately appalled and thrilled by Roza's blunt, manipulative storytelling and Roza imagines a future as Chris's lover. Overall, this is a sad, quiet novel about missed opportunities owing to lack of honest communication. Although more introspective than de Bernières's other works, this latest novel is no less skillful. For all literary fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/08; reading group guide available on at time of publication.—Ed.]—Christine Perkins, Bellingham P.L., WA --Christine Perkins (Reviewed September 1, 2008) (Library Journal, vol 133, issue 14, p116)
  • The popular British author who seems to alternate ambitious blockbusters (Birds Without Wings, 2005, etc.) with wispy makeweight fictions (e.g., the wafer-thin Red Dog) tests his devoted readership's patience again.This time we're treated to a dual narrative shared by Chris, a middle-age English widower ostensibly mourning the death of his sexually unresponsive wife ("a Great White Loaf"), and the exotic girl, Roza, whom he impulsively picks up, mistaking her for a prostitute. Chris is Alan Bates, timidly hoping Anthony Quinn's ebullient Zorba the Greek will teach him to shed propriety and learn to dance (so to speak). Roza, who perhaps actually is the Bulgarian Serb that she intermittently claims to be, is a gifted liar, and the sexually stunning life force of Chris's wildest dreams. They continue to meet, usually in the dilapidated apartment building Roza shares with several countercultural types (e.g., their very own BDU: Bob Dylan Upstairs). Roza regales the lovestruck Chris with fiery tales of her (mostly erotic) experiences, including an incestuous romp with her father, a devout follower of strongman Marshall Tito. Many of this painstakingly attenuated book's brief chapters are vehicles for canned information about the sufferings of Eastern European minority populations during times of political interest, and hence of inevitable interest. But everything eventually comes back to Roza's grandiose self-dramatizations, and it becomes impossible to take it, or her, seriously when we're frequently subjected to brain-dead, space-filling chapter titles ("Can You Fall in Love if You've Been Castrated?") and the kind of sonorous sentimentality that belongs in a zero-budget film noir (e.g., "Even inside every damn fucked-up woman there's some sweet little girl").A malodorous turkey. Corelli's Mandolin it ain't. (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2008)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
260552
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
De Bernières, Louis
Dewey number
823/.914
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6054.E132
LC item number
P37 2008
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Middle-aged men
  • Young women
  • Serbs
  • Nineteen seventies
  • Storytelling
  • London (England)
Target audience
adult
Label
A partisan's daughter, by Louis de Bernières
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"Originally published in Great Britain by Harvill Secker, an imprint of Random House Group Ltd., London"--T.p. verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
711688
Dimensions
22cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
193 pages
Isbn
9780307268877
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2008017773
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780307268877
  • (OCoLC)222543338
Label
A partisan's daughter, by Louis de Bernières
Publication
Note
"Originally published in Great Britain by Harvill Secker, an imprint of Random House Group Ltd., London"--T.p. verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
711688
Dimensions
22cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
193 pages
Isbn
9780307268877
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2008017773
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780307268877
  • (OCoLC)222543338

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